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RealKevM

'How Did You Know' (Live at Jaz Bar, Hull, UK)

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Hi this is a video of me playing live last Sunday, i'm new to it, maybe done about 12 or so gigs. Please let me know what you think and offer any advice :)

https://youtu.be/U3hDff-WQKg

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The link you posted isn't clickable Kev...here's a ready-to-view version, should make it a little easier for folks to access. :)

 

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Ah brilliant, thank you so much!

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Honestly?  I think it needs work.  Your vocals are pretty off key and the words are hard to understand.  The song and the performance could really use some dynamics.  My next comment is a personal taste thing, so take no offence.  You could present yourself better.  The jeans/tee shirt/backward hat thing is a little sloppy (remember, just my opinion). You don't have to wear a tux, but a little style goes a long way.

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Hi Neal thanks for watching and replying. I do normally dress less casual for performances but thought i'd try a more casual style, my music is indie rock so I think it fits but point noted.

Yeah my voice isn't the best but i'm improving slowly, you should have heard me a year ago lol (or maybe not!)

Thank you once again.

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Couldn't tell if you were nervous, which is a great start.  Also you weren't reading the lyrics which I think is important for an open mic performance.  I think I've pointed out that you sing off key from time to time before, but I agree with you that it appears you are improving.  Still you've got a ways to go.  Enunciating the lyrics is really important and I think you need to work on that as well.  You had some dynamics put in the song, but I agree with Neal's post above that more dynamics with the guitar will be important, particularly if you have trouble changing things up with the vocal.  I find that playing in duos or trios at open mics is a good experience, not only because you learn to play with someone else, but because it's easier to create song dynamics and keep the audiences attention.  If you have an opportunity to do that, I would suggest giving it a try.

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Thanks man, that's a great idea about playing with others. Thanks for taking the tme to have a watch and it's encouraging you can hear a bit of an improvment in my voice but yeah a way to go yet loli

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FWIW, here's my take.

 

First of all, in-and-of-itself, I think what you're wearing is fine, given the rock vibe of the tune - and you look like you're young enough to still pull off that "look."  However, I also think one should dress appropriate to the venue, and this place looks a bit more upscale than your look is suited for.    I also have to give you kudos for standing while you're performing .  If you were sitting for this tune, it wouldn't be as visually compelling - again, given the rock vibe of the tune.  I also think your on-board pickup/pre-amp system sounds pretty good too, and lets your acoustic still convey a pretty natural acoustic sound.  Your playing - timing-wise - is solid, until you also start singing.  Singing and playing this at the same time throws of your timing for both.  So, I think you need to practice performing this more until your timing as you both play and sing is solid and second nature.

 

I know that while you're singing and playing you also hear in your imagination drums, bass, maybe electric guitars and backing vocals too.  But, all the audience hears is one acoustic guitar and one vocal.  In my opinion, its the structure of this song that makes it a bit monotonous to listen to as just a 1+1.  Let's face it, you're playing the same chord progression over and over, and the vocal melody stays pretty much the same too.  I think you need a better distinction between verses and choruses for this song if it's going to work well as a 1+1.  One way to do that that comes to mind is to have a pre-chorus section between verses and choruses.  That pre-chorus doesn't have to be a long one, but I think it should be a different chord progression, and should also probably be something you play with a different style than just the full-bore strumming.  Maybe the pre-chorus could be something you play by picking broken chords like you do during the "break," or could even be just single-strummed individual chords - something to give a contrast at the end of each verse and before the start of the upcoming chorus.

 

Just my opinions.  Keep at it.   You do have songwriting and performing chops worth developing, and the main chord progression and vocal melody here do work well together. 

 

David

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Hi Dave, thank you so much for taking the time to provide detailed critique, I really do appreciate it.

I was wearing the trucker hat as i'd recently shaved my head and didnt like the results :) It was a city centre bar nowhere fancy so it was all good. 

The song is over twenty years old now though I added the final verse this year. I have historically struggled with timing issues when playing and singing at the same time and I agree it is fairly noticeable in this performance. You are right the song needs something so it isn't so monotonous, sometimes you need someone to point out what is blindingly obvious - thank you. At some point i'm going to have a play about with the arrangement and try adding a bridge as you suggested. Thank you for this once again. If you have the time i'd really appreciate you having a look at some of my other songs and giving me some feedback. I'm off to check your music out now :) Kev.

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